Joan Preston

Professor, Ph.D.

My area of research is media psychology and spans the range of visual media from words and pictures to film, TV, video games, music videos and virtual environments. I am primarily interested in visuals, especially the design features of visual events, why viewers find certain visuals engaging and absorbing, and the way these factors mediate salience, preference, comprehension, evaluation, post-viewing behaviour and so forth. Basic to this research is the notion that visuals provide ecological environments. Viewers orient to mediated environments and reorient to physical reality. Recent studies examine a range of factors relevant to this dynamic process.

Media psychology

  • media as ecological environments
  • virtual reality, video games, film

Preston, J. M. (2017). Games, dreams and consciousness: Absorption and perception, cognition, emotion . In J. Gackenbach & J. Bown (Eds.), Boundaries of Self and Reality Online: Implications of Digitally Constructed Realities. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Preston, J. M. (2012). Absorbed in video game play: From immersion to the development of consciousness. In J. Gackenbach (Ed.), Video Game Play and Consciousness, (pp.143-170. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Preston, J.M. (2007). From mediated environments to the development of consciousness II. In J. Gackenbach (Ed.), Psychology and the Internet: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal and Transpersonal Perspectives. Second Edition. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Preston, J.M. (2005). The Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Ability -3. In D. Keyser (Ed.), Test Critiques XI. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed Inc., pp. 129-137.

Preston, J.M. & Eden, M. (2002). Viewing music videos: Emotion and viewer interpretation. Zeitschrift fur Medienpsychologie/Journal of Media Psychology, Vol. 14 (2), 69-79.

Preston, J.M. (2005). Virtual action space: Foreshadowing outcomes in mediated environments. International Communication Association, New York, NY.

Preston, J.M. (2005). Issues in media reality. Canadian Psychological Association Meeting, Montreal.

Preston, J.M. (2005). Responding to media: Artistic vs. psychological variables. Canadian Psychological Association Meeting, Montreal.

Nery, R. & Preston, J.M. (2005). Video games: Psychological Factors and Performance. Canadian Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Montreal.

Hann, J., Armstrong, K., & Preston, J.M. (2005). Factors in participant enjoyment of apparent-motion media. Canadian Psychological Association Meeting, Montreal.

Preston, J.M. (2003). Film Structure and Narrative Meaning. Canadian Psychological Association, Hamilton.

Preston, J.M. & Evans, J. (2001). Moving pictures: Music’s effect on viewers. Canadian Psychological Association Meeting, Quebec City.

Preston, J.M. (2001). Effects of image size on viewers’ interpretations of emotional content in music videos. International Communication Association Meeting, Washington, DC.

Qian, J. & Preston, J.M. (2001). Reality sense in narrative mediated messages. International Communication Association Meeting, Washington, DC.